Written by Amy Grimsey, Sport Development Officer
Some people think that snacking is a bad habit that can lead to weight gain, and that would be true if you were snacking on chocolate, crisps and all of those sugary goodies... but it is certainly not the case if you are sensible about the snacks you are giving your body. After all, your body is a temple and you need to treat it like one.
If you choose healthy, whole-food snacks full of protein and nutrients it can actually help with weight loss. They can help you keep full and limit cravings for unhealthy foods. Check out these 8 simple and healthy snacks that can boxed up and taken to work/university/college!
Red Bell Pepper & Guacamole
Did you know: red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers are the same type of pepper but just at different stages of ripeness? Green are unripe with red being fully ripe and as the peppers ripen their taste and health benefits change too.
Red peppers are the most nutritious, containing high amounts of vitamin C, B6 and folate. They also help with healthy night vision, are packed with antioxidants and research has shown that red peppers can activate thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate.
Guacamole adds healthy fats and fibre so pairing 85 grams of this with 1 large red bell pepper, makes this snack full of goodness and under 200 calories!
Greek Yogurt & Berries
Greek yogurt is packed with probiotics that are great for the digestive system. Without a healthy balance of good bacteria, too much bad bacteria can build up and cause damage to your immune system.
Greek yogurt is also a great source of calcium, potassium and protein. So add this to the antioxidants provided by mixed berries and you have a refreshing and super beneficial snack to see you through a hot summers morning.
Cucumber & Hummus
Hummus is made from chickpeas, olive oil and garlic which helps to reduce inflammation, promote digestive health, contains ‘healthy-heart’ fats and provides your gut with good bacteria.
With cucumber containing antioxidants, promoting hydration and being high in vitamins and minerals, this combo is the ultimate summer snack!
Eggs are full of protein and vitamins and are one of the healthiest and weight-loss friendly foods (providing they’re not fried in a truck load of oil... obvs!) Whilst eggs have had a bad reputation for containing a high cholesterol content, studies have shown that a moderate egg intake doesn’t actually effect your risk of heart disease.
Instead, eggs are very filling and will stop you from snacking and consuming high number of calories throughout the day, helping to manage weight.
Olives are a small fruit that contain high amounts of vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Like with the bell peppers, the colour of the olives depends on their ripeness.
The high level of dietary antioxidants have been shown to reduce risks of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. They also help to fight inflammation and reduce microorganism growth.
Kale is loaded with fibre, antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin K, making it a fabulously healthy addition to your food intake. So check out this simple recipe for kale chips which provides around 150 calories.
67 grams of bite size kale leaves
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl. Then, place the pieces of kale on a baking sheet and bake at 175 degrees Celsius / gas mark 3 for 10-15 minutes (watch closely to ensure they don’t burn).
Mixed nuts are a really quick and simple snack to have on the go, providing around 180 calories in a 28 gram serving.
They provide the perfect balance of healthy fats, fibre and protein, contain a high amount of antioxidants and help to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.
Celery Sticks & Cream Cheese
This snack is filling and great for those on low carb diets. Celery contains antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation and cream cheese is a good source of vitamin A.
6 celery sticks and 50g serving of cream cheese is around 150 calories.
So, swap out your junk snacks for refreshing, low calorie snacks to fuel your body with all of the right nutrients to support your health and wellbeing!